Theater

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we welcome Hunter Bell and Jana Ellis, who are both involved with "[title of show]," the Tony-nominated one-act musical that is currently being staged at the Tulsa PAC by the locally-based American Theatre Company.

Molière's "Tartuffe" --- or "The Impostor" --- is a classic French play that was first performed in 1664. Bitingly satirical and LOL funny, this play tells the story of a deplorable religious con-man who tries to obtain the title to his friend's estate by sending him to jail; the title character of this ever-popular comedy also tries to rob that friend blind, to seduce his wife and daughter, and so on. "Tartuffe" is a work that's often revived in updated versions or alternate settings, and such is the case with the production of "Tartuffe" that TU's Department of Theatre is now staging.

This weekend, Tulsa Opera will continue its current season with the Oklahoma premiere of "Elmer Gantry," a Grammy Award-winning opera by Robert Aldridge. Based on the eponymous novel by Sinclair Lewis and the 1960 motion picture with Burt Lancaster and Jean Simmons, this classic piece recounts the rise and fall of a charismatic but unscrupulous thrill-seeker who joins the 1920s Evangelical movement of the American Midwest. "Elmer Gantry" will be staged at Chapman Hall in the Tulsa Performing Arts Center on Friday the 28th (at 7:30pm) and Sunday the 2nd (at 2:30pm).

Theatre Tulsa's New Stage initiative will soon offer its first-ever production with a widely hailed play from 2010 that has never before graced an Oklahoma stage: "Clybourne Park," by Bruce Norris, is a Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning comedy/drama that was written in response to Lorraine Hansberry's landmark play, "A Raisin in the Sun" (1959). "Clybourne Park" will be staged in the Liddy Doenges Theatre at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center from tomorrow night (Friday the 21st) through March 2nd.

"A Streetcar Named Desire" --- which earned playwright Tennessee Williams the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1948, was the basis for the classic 1951 film with Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh, and remains one of the fundamental if not defining works of the American stage --- is opening at 7:30pm tonight (Friday the 14th) here in Tulsa, in a new production at the Tulsa PAC's John H. Williams Theatre. This version of "Streetcar" is being produced by The Playhouse Tulsa; it's running through February 22nd.

On this installment of ST, we speak by phone with Susan Nussbaum, an accomplished playwright, first-time novelist, and longtime disabilities-rights advocate. Nussbaum tells us about her widely acclaimed and award-winning debut novel, "Good Kings Bad Kings," which is just out in paperback, and which a critic for The Los Angeles Review of Books has called "a knockout.... Nussbaum possesses an astonishing ear for idiosyncratic voices, and a talent for creating characters who appear in full bloom within a few sentences.

Our guest on this installment of ST is Cody Daigle, the resident playwright with Playhouse Tulsa. Originally from Louisiana and now based here in T-Town, Daigle is a witty and engaging actor/director/playwright who's had his plays produced in New Orleans, North Carolina, NYC, Iowa, and elsewhere. His newest play is a musical comedy called "Tulsa! A Radio Christmas Spectacular," and it will be staged at the Tulsa PAC by Playhouse Tulsa --- with original songs by the outstanding Tulsa songbird Rebecca Ungerman --- on Thursday the 5th through Sunday the 8th.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who's well-known and widely celebrated for his drama, "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes," which first appeared in the early 1990s, and which was thereafter converted into an HBO-TV miniseries  that was directed by Mike Nichols.

Oscar Wilde is now rolling into Tulsa, so to speak, in a big way.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Machele Miller Dill and Michael Wright, two University of Tulsa faculty members who are currently co-directing the TU Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre's presentation of "Beehive." (Dill is also doing the choreography for this production.) Created in the 1980s by the late Larry Gallagher, this show is a music revue --- rather than a "jukebox musical" --- that moves through the sea-change of a decade that was the Sixties by focusing chronologically on the work of popular "girl groups" like The Chiffons, The Shirelles, and The Supremes as well as o

On this edition of our show, we speak with Max McLean, the producer and director of "The Screwtape Letters" --- he also formerly starred in this production --- which will be staged at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center on Saturday the 5th at both 4pm and 8pm. This is a theatrical adaptation of the C.S. Lewis novel of the same title, which is a widely cherished little book (commonly seen as a masterpiece, and dating from the early 1940s) that presents letters written by one of Satan's leading demons (named Screwtape) to his nephew (named Wormwood).

On today's show, we speak with Courtneay Sanders, artistic director of The Playhouse Tulsa, which has recently begun its new season with a funny play called "I Hate Hamlet" by Paul Rudrick. The play will be staged in the Williams Theatre at the Tulsa PAC through Saturday the 14th.

LOOK Musical Theatre, a revered nonprofit that began as the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Tulsa (with "LOOK" later signifying Light Opera Oklahoma) is currently marking its 30th season; the organization was founded in 1983 by John and Jane Carmichael Everitt in association with The University of Tulsa. Every June, LOOK presents professional performances in repertory fashion; these shows are produced and staffed by dozens of professionals: artistic, technical, and marketing personnel from regions both local and national.

On this edition of ST, we welcome back Machele Miller Dill, an assistant professor of musical theatre here at the University of Tulsa. Dill is directing "Spring Awakening," which the TU Department of Theatre will present in the Lorton Performance Center (here on the TU campus) from tomorrow night (the 11th) through Sunday afternoon (the 14th).

Robert Ward, the highly acclaimed American composer, died today at age 95. Ward won the Pulitzer Prize for his opera "The Crucible" --- based on the classic Arthur Miller play, with a libretto adapted by Bernard Stambler --- which was commissioned by the New York City Opera and had its premiere in 1961.

On this edition of ST, we welcome the poet/playwright/actress/musician Lenelle Moise as well as the actress/singer/songwriter Karla Mosley, who comprise the dynamic and diversely talented duo behind "Expatriate," a two-act, two-woman drama-meets-music performance piece that was presented Off-Broadway to glowing reviews in 2008, and that will soon be offered here in Tulsa by the Living Arts Gallery as part of that organization's New Genre XX Festival.

Our two guests on this edition of ST are Michael Wright and Steven Marzolf. Both are directing plays currently being presented in repertory by the TU Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre; Wright is directing Neil Simon's classic comedy/drama, "Biloxi Blues," which opens tonight, and Marzolf is directing John Murrell's "Waiting for the Parade," which opened last night. Both plays concern the Second World War, yet they differ in some interesting ways --- for example, Simon's play is essentially an all-male saga about coming of age amid the struggles of basic training in the U.S.

We are pleased to welcome to StudioTulsa the inimitable Rebecca Ungerman, the great Tulsa-based jazz and cabaret singer and performer who's been a beloved diva / chanteuse / force of nature on our local music scene for the past twenty years or so. Ungerman is taking her newest show --- an original musical, called "The Unwitting Wife," which includes new as well as older songs (some of which date back to her first recordings or earliest efforts at songwriting) --- to Israel, of all places, for a series of performances.

Our guest on ST is Gary John LaRosa, who will be the guest director for a new production of "Little Shop of Horrors" that the University of Tulsa's Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre will soon present at the Lorton Performance Center on the TU campus.

Theatre Tulsa @ 90

Aug 24, 2012

On this edition of ST, we're talking about the past, present, and future of Theatre Tulsa, one of the oldest arts organizations in the state. Established in 1922, Theatre Tulsa is actually the oldest community theatre west of the Mississippi River. Over the years, it's brought hundreds of productions to the people of Tulsa. It premiered the first-ever community theatre productions of "Our Town" in 1939, "All My Sons" in 1947, and "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" in 1993.

American Theatre Company (ATC), which has been a part of Tulsa's local arts scene since 1970, will soon present "The Comedy of Errors" by William Shakespeare. Our guest on this edition of ST is Lisa Wilson, a longtime member of the Theatre and Drama faculty here at TU, who is directing this production. The play will be staged on the verdant and gorgeous --- and, thank goodness, well-shaded --- lawn of the Philbrook Museum of Art on August 3rd, 4th, 10th, and 11th, with all curtains at 8pm.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we are joined by Dan Call and David Blakely, two Tulsa-area theatre veterans who are involved with a new musical, "Hank the Cowdog and Monkey Business," which is being presented by Tulsa Repertory Musicals as part of the SummerStage series at the Tulsa PAC. It's a family-friendly show that's been adapted from one the titles in the popular (and long-running) "Hank the Cowdog" series of children's books by John Erickson; it will play in the PAC's Doenges Theater from today (the 21st) through Sunday (the 24th).

Eric Gibson, artistic director of LOOK Musical Theatre, is the guest on this edition of StudioTulsa. LOOK is an anchor for the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust's annual Summerstage Festival (which happens each June and July).

On this edition of ST, which originally aired back in March, we speak with Jamal Joseph, whose new memoir is "Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention." This engrossing autobiography --- a gritty yet hopeful hybrid of coming-of-age candor, street-savvy wisdom, and recent socio-political history --- follows Jospeph from his early years in the Bronx and Harlem, to incarceration stints in Riker's Island and then Leavenworth, to the Film School faculty of Columbia University.

[Aired on Thursday, March 1st.] Today, we speak with Jamal Joseph, whose new memoir is "Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention." This engrossing autobiography --- a gritty yet hopeful hybrid of coming-of-age candor, street-savvy wisdom, and recent socio-political history --- follows Jospeph from his early years in the Bronx and Harlem, to incarceration stints in Riker’s Island and then Leavenworth, to the Film School faculty of Columbia University.

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